Epigenetics, Ancestors, and Living Your Calling

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 21, 2018 1:05:45 PM

Epigenetics, Ancestors, and Living Your Your Calling: An Interview with Heather McCloskey Beck A Guest Blog Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Encouraging others to find their gifts and live their calling is a topic that has been deeply moving for Heather McCloskey Beck, who authored Take the Leap: Do What You Love 15 Minutes a Day and Create the Life of Your Dreams (2013, Conari Press). Synchronistically, decades ago, while walking on a beach in Montauk, Long Island, Beck was inspired and outlined in the sand an idea that came to her about how to create a happy life. Although the water had already swept away her markings by the time she returned from her walk, the idea resonated with her so strongly that when she returned to her campsite, she wrote it down and mailed it off to a friend.

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Posted in: James Hillman, soul, depth psychology, active imagination, Pacifica Students, somatic, the body

Dream Tending and Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 24, 2017 1:41:21 PM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

I just offered a seminar in Dream Tending to our students in the Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization of the Depth Psychology Ph.D. Program. What a delight it was to do so. This community of diverse professionals came to “the work” with a passion and background in the Healing Arts. On this day they brought their empathy, creativity, and experience into the classroom. The imaginal field in South Hall at the Lambert Road Campus activated in generative ways. The “inner-subjective imaginal field” opened widely, including dream images, dreamer, and dream tender, an essential dimension of hosting the embodied, living images of psyche. When the relational field, in this case a specific learning environment, resonated with care, curiosity, and high regard, the figures in dream became particularly vital and presented themselves in potent ways.

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Posted in: The Psyche, graduate school, creativity, images, imaginal, active imagination

Mythological Studies and Dream Tending

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 19, 2017 10:09:28 AM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

At Pacifica, Joseph Campbell once said, "dream work can be a yogic practice." I'll never forget him sharing that with us. To this day, his insight informs my practice of Dream Tending. Touching into the same loam, the mythic imagination, Dream Tending opens a way to listen to the movements of psyche as she tells the stories that implicate us in larger mythological motifs. To tend a dream is to befriend the living images, each with an intelligence of its own, each with a story to tell.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Mythology, graduate school, images, active imagination

Counseling Psychology and Dream Tending

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 12, 2017 12:27:41 PM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Pacifica's first Graduate Degree program was in Counseling Psychology, an extension of Pacifica’s then named Counseling Skills Certificate Program with roots in community mental health. Next to the University of California Santa Barbara, we offered outreach peer counseling to returning veterans coming back from Viet Nam as well as working with individuals dealing with drug and alcohol related challenges. What a time it was! All of us were learning the newest "treatment" strategies and methods, just then evolving out of the "Human Potential Movement." Our mentors were folks like Virginia Stair, Erik Erikson, Fritz Perls, and all kinds of leaders in the emerging fields of couples and family therapy. Combine this with a sprinkling of Ram Dass, the Grateful Dead, and too many others to count, we developed increasingly sophisticated counseling skills that to this day form the core of what we now know as a professional M.A. Counseling Psychology Program with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Clinical Counseling, and Depth Psychology.

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Posted in: The Psyche, Counseling Psychology, graduate school, images, active imagination

Dream Tending and Pacifica’s Academic Programs

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 10, 2017 4:06:16 PM

A guest post by Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Just over forty years ago, in Isla Vista, California, at a small community counseling center, an image began to push itself forward. At that time, I along with others felt this "presence" more as a "motivation" than a "known vision" with direction, let alone visibility.

Now, looking back, the essential "soul spark" moving through us at that time had a life of its own. Destiny was unfolding in ways not yet seen. Living images are like that. They make their intentions known through "hints" at first, "intimations," not yet clear patterns of what or how the future will be shaped.

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Posted in: The Psyche, graduate school, images, active imagination

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Cultivating, Counseling, and Stories from Cameroon

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on May 4, 2017 11:13:04 PM

Peace Corps Meets Pacifica: Cultivating, Counseling, and Stories from Cameroon An Interview with Paul D. Coverdell Fellow and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Courtney McCubbin
A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Nothing can substitute for experience as a way of knowing. It serves as a powerful initiation process that begins the moment you put your foot on a particular path. This appears to be the case for Courtney McCubbin, who served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon in Africa from 2001 to 2005. While McCubbin struggled mightily to learn French in order to communicate with the people there, a task that frequently brought her to tears, she took comfort her deep desire to help people, and threw herself into projects in reforestation, agroforestry, and agronomy, which contributed to the healing of the forests and the farmers there who needed help.

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Connecting Cultures, C.G. Jung, Ecopsychology, graduate school, depth psychology, active imagination